Georgia Lawyers for the Freedom to Marry launches with more than 200 pledge signers

Today, Southerners for the Freedom to Marry – in partnership with our friends at Georgia Equality – announced Georgia Lawyers for the Freedom to Marry, a bipartisan list of more than 200 Georgia attorneys who are adding their names to the growing list of Georgians who support marriage for same-sex couples. Lawyers in Georgia can sign up to become a Georgia Lawyer for the Freedom to Marry HERE

"As proud members of Georgia’s legal community," the pledge reads, "we believe that allowing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples is crucial to fulfilling the promise of liberty and equality for all of Georgia’s residents. All Americans, regardless of whom they love, deserve to be treated equally under the law."

This past spring, Freedom to Marry launched Southerners for the Freedom to Marry – a first-of-its-kind, $1 million public education campaign to grow public support for marriage in the Southern states. In Georgia specifically, a plurality of residents (48%) support the freedom to marry, while only 43% oppose it. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis are co-chairs of the effort, alongside 12 other prominent individuals from the South.

The Georgia Lawyers for the Freedom to Marry pledge includes prominent signers from across the state, including Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, and Athens.

Here’s what some of the signers are saying:

Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker • Atlanta Attorney

"As we see legal challenges to exclusionary marriage bans continue to move through the American courts at a record pace – including here at home in Georgia – I felt compelled to add my name to this pledge. Laws exist to protect Americans and ensure our freedoms, not to inflict undue harm and hardship on some families and couples just because of who they are."

Lynn Hogue, Professor of Law Emeritus at Georgia State University

"My understanding of the constitutional right of all Americans to equal treatment under the law certainly includes the fundamental freedom of couples to marry. I find this view to be entirely consistent with my strong belief in conservative principles like individual liberty, limited government, and the social importance of strong families."

Tanya Washington • Associate Professor of Family Law at Georgia State University Law School

"State laws prohibiting same-sex marriage and the recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages are often justified as child protective measures. In reality, these laws harm children by depriving them of a legal parent-child relationship with both parents that serves their best interests. These laws that purportedly defend marriage do so at the expense of children. I support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples because it will ensure that greater numbers of children will be raised in families and have relationships with their parents that enjoy the full recognition of the law."

Steve Dix • Marietta Lawyer

"From time to time in my role as a Navy lawyer in the 1970’s, I was assigned to represent gay sailors who were being administratively processed out of the service, simply because it was discovered that they were gay. I cannot honestly say that I was sympathetic to them at that time, but invariably their service records were spotless... I have my own journey of coming to embrace and celebrate marriage equality. There was never an 'Aha!' moment for me, but rather a gradual chance to get to know people and realize – through seeing their struggles and yearning to be embraced as full and equal citizens under the law – just how much marriage equality really matters to me."

See all of the signers HERE, and sign up yourself HERE.